SMALL PRE-CONTACT NEW GUINEA HIGHLANDS CARVED PIGMENT GRINDING STONE
Origin: New Guinea, Madang Province, Highlands region, Simbai?
Period/Date: unknown but "old"
Materials: stone, traces of lime?
Description: Not a lot is known about this stone object. That said, its wear patterns suggest how it was likely used. There is a distinctly "flat edge" on the top side where it was shaped from grinding. It could have been used for grinding pigments or scraping lime as part of betel nut chewing. Its small size would have made it very portable for personal use. What is known is that it is deeply carved, with clustered yet fluid, clan motifs having a varied semi-pitted surface. Some of the motifs resemble stylized animals. There are no sharp edges and no evidence of fresh carving. It almost looks like a bead but is not pierced through anywhere. It is a charming and enigmatic object.
Dimensions: Height 2.5" (6.5 cm), Width 1 1/8" (2.7 cm)
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